JUANITA FLOYD: Reassessing ourselves often happens in an instant

By Juanita Floyd

Have you heard the phrase – “knocked off my feet?” A passage of scriptures says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
In just one moment and in the twinkling of an eye, a couple of Sundays ago, I was literally “knocked off my feet.” While at my mother’s house trying to take a nap and pondering over some personal issues, our friend Rachel Ware was sitting in the den when she received an emergency phone call from her niece, Kizzy. Kizzy was at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis with her 9-year-old son and needed a way home to Tupelo. Normally, Le Bonheur supplies car services to take patients home; however, they did not have a driver that Sunday evening.
In listening to Rachel’s conversation, she stated, “I don’t mind coming to get you and Darius – but I can’t drive in Memphis. I don’t even know how to get to Le Bonheur. I’ll try to find somebody to come.” She called different relatives and the answer was the same – “I can’t go.”
I raised myself off that comfortable sofa and said, “I’ll drive you.”
We started on our journey and finally made it to our destination.
Kizzy and frail little Darius came out of the hospital. As we were riding home, Kizzy thanked us for coming to get them and also told me about their situation. She said, “Normally, before school starts, we would go to Le Bonheur during the week. Since school has started, Darius did not want to miss school. So, we came up on a Friday for his testing so he could be back for school on Monday. I am so sorry if I inconvenienced you all …”
She further stated, “…I want to complete my education. I can’t. I sign up for classes and then I have to drop them because of Darius being sick. I can’t work because I have to miss so many days if he has a seizure. We are waiting on his test results, and according to the doctor – we possibly know what it is …”
Here was Juanita Floyd, who earlier in the day was literally saying, “Woe is me.” Even though my mother always said, “Deal with the hand you have been given,” from time to time I still find myself questioning, “Why did this happen, why can’t I fix … why can’t I get … why can’t we have … why … why …why?”
Yet, here is a sick little boy whose body is wracked with pain; who suffers with seizures; is awaiting a diagnosis of possibly an incurable disease; and all he wants is to be able to go to school. Here is a mother who wants to finish her college education so that she can become a teacher. They want to do normal things – but because of life’s curves – can’t; yet, they still have a positive outlook.
Martha Washington said, “The greater part of our contentment, happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Thankfully, I had an opportunity to reassess my life. While driving that car, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, I repented for my selfish thoughts and questions of why. I’ve never had to face any of the things this young mother and son face on a daily basis. There are sick people every day fighting for their lives; there are families who live in poverty; there are children who live without a parent; and, there are people who don’t have jobs and do without and never complain. I began to thank God for my many blessings and the opportunity to take that trip to Le Bonheur.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “It is in struggle and service with our brothers and sisters, individually and collectively, that we find the meaning of life.”
Has the meaning of your life been to whine, murmur and complain? Or, has it been to touch lives, offer your services and to make a difference? You be the judge.
Juanita Gambrell Floyd is vice president for Finance and Administration at CREATE Foundation. Contect her at juanita@createfoundation.com.